Meet the Miracle Hunter

As he was approaching his graduation from Stanford University, Michael O’Neill received some advice from the school’s then vice-provost, Condeleeza Rice. Nick Marshall – Auburn Tigers Jerseys “She asked, ‘What are you going to do after graduation?’ and then she said, “Become an expert on something.’” It didn’t take O’Neill long to figure out what that would be: He would become an expert on miracles. O’Neill, now 40, had long been fascinated with the miraculous. Growing up, his grandmother fell away from the Catholic faith and his mother — who had a strong Marian devotion — prayed for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to bring her back. “My mother made a deal with God and said, ‘If you bring my mother back, I’ll become a school teacher and teach every student I ever have the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 and if you bless with me with any children, they’re going to hear that story, too, every single year,’”says O’Neill. His grandmother did come back to the faith and his mom became a school teacher, teaching all of her students the story about the Virgin of Guadalupe, including her own children. “It was ultimately Our Lady of Guadalupe that turned me on to miracles,” says O’Neill. Although he studied engineering at Stanford, he took an archeology class and ended up spending an incredible amount of time on a final paper about the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “I thought to myself, this is so fascinating, I can’t believe not only are these miracles being claimed throughout history, but that the Catholic Church actually approves some of them,” he recalls. “I thought it was mind-boggling that the Church would risk its credibility on some of these wild claims and stick its neck out and say some of them are worthy of belief.” So in 1998, O’Neill launched his web site, Miracle Hunter. adidas superstar 2 damskie “I noticed there wasn’t too much out there on the web — at least nothing with a critical eye — everything was an overly-pious look at miracles so I thought I would look at it in a more academic way.” In the years since, there have been books, a radio show, newspapers articles, and a sister site called 365 Days with Mary, where O’Neill has taken all the approved Marian devotions and lined them up according to feast days.

  • O’Neill has published two books in the past two years and was featured in National Geographic’s cover story in December 2015, “How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman.” There’s also a new television due to be launched on EWTN this fall/winter called “Miracles,” much of which will be filmed on location. But O’Neill wasn’t always keen to share his love of miracles with others. “I kept it quiet for a long time because being interested in miracles is often looked at like chasing UFOs or Bigfoot,” he says. Ultimately, though, this is about evangelization for him. “Miracles can really help to bolster somebody’s faith,” he says. “They shouldn’t be the center of our faith. There are people — we all know them — who get hung up on these things. I’m the ‘miracle hunter’ so it sounds funny for me to say this, but if that’s the entirety of your faith, you’re in trouble. But it’s a great entry point and it’s a point of excitement for people to engage with their faith and turn towards Christ, when they see these great occasions when God has blessed the world. For people who have lost their faith, miracles are a great way to re-engage, and for young people who have supernatural characters and storylines in their movies and video games — well, we have all that in Catholic faith so it’s a great way for them to get interested in the faith.” O’Neill says the greatest misunderstanding people have about apparitions, and miracles more generally, is the assumption that the Catholic Church is approving and promoting these things to “lure people back into churches or sell rosary beads at a local shrine.” But in reality, the Church isn’t interested in that at all. “I mean, of course, she wants to evangelize and have as many faithful members as possible, but when the Church is investigating an apparition or miracle, she wants to shut it down, for people to return to a more ‘normal’ practice of faith centered on Christ and his words and works in the Gospel, given through the Church,” explains O’Neill. “So when people are wildly chasing these claims, lining up to see bleeding statues, of course those can be wonderful reminders of God’s love for us, but they can also be distractions. When the Church investigates something it’s actually trying to prove there is nothing supernatural there. So when something is declared worthy of belief, established as supernatural, that’s a cause for celebration because the Church was trying to disprove it all along.” O’Neill says the way the Church approaches miracles is “absolutely perfect and you can’t argue with it.” He points out that when the Church finds a miraculous claim worthy of belief, the faithful still don’t have to believe it. sac fjallraven kanken “If it helps our faith and the Church has approved it, we can incorporate it into our life of faith. Air Jordan 5 Uomo If it’s something we find strange or unnecessary or distracting, we don’t have to pay any attention to it at all.” O’Neill has explored and researched many kinds of miracles and discusses them in his book, Exploring the Miraculous, but personally he finds Eucharistic miracles the most fascinating because of how science can validate them. “In some rare instances it’s been shown that a consecrated host contains true flesh and true blood — there was a recent case in Poland where a striated heart tissue was found in a host, for example. Oftentimes, the Church has atheist scientists look at these and they’ve said, ‘Yes, we’ve got bread, but we’ve also got true flesh and true blood here.’ So those are my favorite kind — where science can actually step in and show a miracle is in fact happening.” He receives emails from around the world and sometimes his Christocentric view of miracles is challenged.

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  • “I do have to acknowledge that there are claims happening in other cultures and other religions, but my primary focus is to show how miracles can help Christians strengthen their faith,” he says.

  • [img attachment=”117631″ align=”alignleft” size=”medium” alt=”miraclehunter-in-lipa (1)” /] Though he resides in the Chicago area and works mostly in the U.S., O’Neill travels around the world to investigate claims when he can. (He was recently in the Philippines examining the details of a controversial Marian apparition.) “We now have stories of weeping statues in greater numbers that I can ever remember, and I’m happy to check them out when they come out, but it is almost always a hoax or there’s a natural explanation. It’s very rare when any of these are truly miraculous. And oftentimes, if I wait a bit before running off to investigate, the Church will get to the bottom of it.” Marian apparitions are a specialty of O’Neill’s and when asked about why he thinks it’s usually the Virgin Mary who comes, rather than other saints or Jesus himself, O’Neill says he believes it’s because Mary has a special role in salvation history as a mother. Air Huarache “She is there to help us in our time of need. When we fall, she’s there to pick us up. Justin Tucker Ravens Jerseys In times of war, famine, plague, Mary comes to us as a mother.” O’Neill also speculates that if Jesus were appearing — and there are approved apparitions of Christ (by St. Faustina and St. Mary Mary Alacoque, for example) — “having God Himself appear to us might be overwhelming, whereas having His mother and our mother coming to us is comforting and easier for us to accept.” Plans are underway for O’Neill to write a new book on modern miracles and he hopes to soon launch “Miracle Hunter Tours,” leading groups to the great sites of miracles approved by Church— the first will be a pilgrimage to Fatima for its upcoming 100th year anniversary.

    Rome’s celebrated exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, is dead at age 91

      Father Gabriele Amorth, perhaps the best known Catholic exorcist in the world, has died at the age of 91, Italian media are reporting. Hogan Outlet Father Amorth, who frequently made headlines beyond the Diocese of Rome, where he was the official exorcist, had been hospitalized for several weeks for complications from pneumonia at the Saint Lucy Foundation Hospital in Rome, according to Corriere delle Sera. “Now he rests from his many battles with the devil,” Spanish theologian Father Jose Antonio Fortea told Catholic News Agency Friday. Born in Modena on May 1, 1925, Father Amorth joined the Society of St. Paul in Alba in 1947, and was ordained in Rome in 1951.

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  • In 1985, he was appointed exorcist of the Diocese of Rome by Cardinal Ugo Poletti. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican wrote that Father Amorth was passionate about Mariology and became the editor of the Catholic monthly magazine Madre di Dio (“Mother of God”). He was a member of the Pontifical International Marian Academy. Scarpe Nike Air Max He performed an estimated 70,000 exorcisms, often repeating the rite on the same persons, CNA noted. In May 2013, he told CNA that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism in St. Nike Air Huarache Dames Peter’s Square on a man said to be possessed, using a prayer of liberation instead of the ordinary rite. asics gel kinsei hombre Over the years Father Amorth published several books, including An Exorcist Tells His Story; Memoirs of an Exorcist: My Life Fighting Satan; An Exorcist: More Stories, and An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels. adidas yeezy boost He counseled that the battle against evil begins in the family. adidas nmd hombre The reason why many individuals become evil is often because so many young people “live without knowing the sacredness of being children” and therefore do not know what it means to be a good father or mother, he said. In 1991, he founded the International Association of Exorcists. nike tn requin On Sept. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames zwart 8, Father Amorth was awarded the “Medal of Liberation” by the prefect of Rome, Paola Baseline, in the presence of the Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti for the important role he played as a Catholic partisan soldier at the end of the Second World War.

  • He also was active after the war in Catholic Action, the youth movement of the Christian Democratic Party.